Vietnam’s first gay sitcom goes viral on YouTube (video)

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My Best Gay FriendsDebuting on April 8, 2012 and making history as Vietnam’s first gay sitcom, My Best Gay Friends is a Vietnamese web series on YouTube that centers around three young adult members of the the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community sharing an apartment together in southern Ho Chi Minh City.With the first episode reaching over 1 million views and counting, the sitcom has been gaining traction in support of legalising same-sex marriage within Vietnam.

The show is directed by Huynh Nguyen Dang Khoa, whom, upon hearing about his friend Tran Nguyen Kim Han’s recalling his “weird and amusing” experience after coming out, created the series and casted Han as a main character. Khoa focused on portraying the LGBT community in a more realistic light, opposed to how gay people are normally shown in other Vietnamese movies and shows.

“I’ve seen many movies and comedies about [the] homosexual community. The images of homosexuals are very negative and audiences then have an ugly idea of the community,” said Khoa.

“I wanted to show people that homosexuals have ordinary lives, full of emotion, friends, [and] family – very normal lives.”

Many of the cast in the series are gay themselves, with many others joining the show who aren’t particularly in the LGBT community, but support gay rights, drawing parallels that the homosexuals go through the very same things that heterosexuals do.

“Joining this show, I think I’ve contributed to changing people’s perspective on homosexuals. People were born this way; we should know how to respect each other for who we really are,” Minh Thanh, an actor in the show who is not in the LGBT community, said.

Khoa described feelings of surprise of the shows audience, stating that, “I thought it would only interest Vietnam’s gay community – but we’re hearing that parents, grandparents, whole families watch and love the shows and long for new episodes.”

In July 2012, Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice consulted on amending the law to allow same sex marriage, with Minister Ha Hung Cuong calling discrimination against gays as “unacceptable.”

Though gay rights were disputably never addressed in the nation’s criminal code, same-sex couples and households headed by homosexual couples are void of the same legal rights that protect heterosexual couples. Vietnam has a long issue of homosexuality being taboo, grinding against the traditional value set of Confucian social normativity of family and tradition, though, despite this, the country has shown promise in pushing for legalising same-sex marriage.

“People of the same sex have the right to live… love, find happiness [and] get married,” said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien.Vietnam could one day give them that.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Debuting on April 8, 2012 and making history as Vietnam’s first gay sitcom, My Best Gay Friends is a Vietnamese web series on YouTube that centers around three young adult members of the the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community sharing an apartment together in southern Ho Chi Minh City.With the first episode reaching over 1 million views and counting, the sitcom has been gaining traction in support of legalising same-sex marriage within Vietnam.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

My Best Gay FriendsDebuting on April 8, 2012 and making history as Vietnam’s first gay sitcom, My Best Gay Friends is a Vietnamese web series on YouTube that centers around three young adult members of the the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community sharing an apartment together in southern Ho Chi Minh City.With the first episode reaching over 1 million views and counting, the sitcom has been gaining traction in support of legalising same-sex marriage within Vietnam.

The show is directed by Huynh Nguyen Dang Khoa, whom, upon hearing about his friend Tran Nguyen Kim Han’s recalling his “weird and amusing” experience after coming out, created the series and casted Han as a main character. Khoa focused on portraying the LGBT community in a more realistic light, opposed to how gay people are normally shown in other Vietnamese movies and shows.

“I’ve seen many movies and comedies about [the] homosexual community. The images of homosexuals are very negative and audiences then have an ugly idea of the community,” said Khoa.

“I wanted to show people that homosexuals have ordinary lives, full of emotion, friends, [and] family – very normal lives.”

Many of the cast in the series are gay themselves, with many others joining the show who aren’t particularly in the LGBT community, but support gay rights, drawing parallels that the homosexuals go through the very same things that heterosexuals do.

“Joining this show, I think I’ve contributed to changing people’s perspective on homosexuals. People were born this way; we should know how to respect each other for who we really are,” Minh Thanh, an actor in the show who is not in the LGBT community, said.

Khoa described feelings of surprise of the shows audience, stating that, “I thought it would only interest Vietnam’s gay community – but we’re hearing that parents, grandparents, whole families watch and love the shows and long for new episodes.”

In July 2012, Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice consulted on amending the law to allow same sex marriage, with Minister Ha Hung Cuong calling discrimination against gays as “unacceptable.”

Though gay rights were disputably never addressed in the nation’s criminal code, same-sex couples and households headed by homosexual couples are void of the same legal rights that protect heterosexual couples. Vietnam has a long issue of homosexuality being taboo, grinding against the traditional value set of Confucian social normativity of family and tradition, though, despite this, the country has shown promise in pushing for legalising same-sex marriage.

“People of the same sex have the right to live… love, find happiness [and] get married,” said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien.Vietnam could one day give them that.

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